Your tone of voice or response to something can shift a whole conversation. One miscommunication can have someone looking at you really throwed off, especially when it is not your intention.
I had to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles. With COVID guidelines everything is different at every location, but my issue is hearing people through these masks. My hearing aids not only pick up the one on one conversations, they pick up everything else around me. Personally, that is annoying af and definitely overwhelming because for one I genuinely and respectfully DO NOT CARE about what the person next to me has going on. That is not my concern or business, but being hard of hearing I have to “tune in” (turn up my hearing aids), in order to respond correctly. ESPECIALLY IN PUBLIC PLACES.
This particular trip was my second go round at this specific office. The very first time I went I forgot a document (I accept my error) but the first clerk just had a dry and unmoved demeanor about it. I dealt with my feelings on that and came back fully prepared and ready to go. I was lucky to be able to get a different clerk the second time, and the process was smooth as pie until I zoned out. I fell into my own thoughts while the clerk was looking down while reading my birth certificate. What I didn’t hear was she was speaking to me asking a question, while I was looking at her name tag trying to see if I could pronounce her name correctly. So as she was speaking to me but looking down, I unintentionally didn’t respond to her, raised my head up, and said her name. Her face dropped for a second. Luckily, I had a friend nearby who redirected me and asked did I hear what the clerk said. I’m like, “Huh, whet, no”. I apologized to her immediately because I really and truly did not hear what she said. She laughed it off hard, repeated her original question, “I heard BUFFALO girls are gangsta, I thought for sure you were about to cuss me.”
Embarrassed really I kept saying no and apologized because in all actually I was just reading her name tag and was asking if I was correct in my head reading. Two individuals, same moment in time, different agenda. Being hard of hearing (tone deaf) I don’t know how my voice sounds to others. Maybe I need to stop doing music therapy listening to trap music but I just know her facial expressions hurt my feelings, because I was not trying to make her feel like I was going to cuss her out for asking me a question. SO THANKFUL she was full of black girl magic and she understood my situation. She made my day that day because she could have flipped the script. And her fear would have been true. Just playing. I handle things differently now, I can’t afford to get GANGSTA in public. My growth has pushed me to handle things more gracefully.
In LUV and LIGHT, I am asking you to be mindful of how you SPEAK to people even on your worse day. YOUR TONE CAN SHIFT A WHOLE PERSON’s DAY and personal life.